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An Improved Learning Algorithm based on the Conjugate Gradient Method for Back Propagation Neural Networks

Authors: N. M. Nawi, M. R. Ransing, R. S. Ransing


The conjugate gradient optimization algorithm usually used for nonlinear least squares is presented and is combined with the modified back propagation algorithm yielding a new fast training multilayer perceptron (MLP) algorithm (CGFR/AG). The approaches presented in the paper consist of three steps: (1) Modification on standard back propagation algorithm by introducing gain variation term of the activation function, (2) Calculating the gradient descent on error with respect to the weights and gains values and (3) the determination of the new search direction by exploiting the information calculated by gradient descent in step (2) as well as the previous search direction. The proposed method improved the training efficiency of back propagation algorithm by adaptively modifying the initial search direction. Performance of the proposed method is demonstrated by comparing to the conjugate gradient algorithm from neural network toolbox for the chosen benchmark. The results show that the number of iterations required by the proposed method to converge is less than 20% of what is required by the standard conjugate gradient and neural network toolbox algorithm.

Keywords: back-propagation, activation function, conjugategradient, search direction, gain variation

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